I am, by nature, a seeker of both information and inspiration. When I am going through something difficult, I tend to look outward for inspiration to press on as I work to re-frame my thinking. I often find solace in the stories of others – particularly when it comes to motherhood. When I struggled with breastfeeding, I searched the ends of the internet and read every personal essay, support group dialog and blog post on the subject. When Daisy was first diagnosed with isolated fetal ascites, I couldn’t find anything on the subject (other than medical journal articles) but what I did find was a wealth of inspiration from moms of children with developmental disabilities and challenges. I also read about moms who struggled with their own health issues while raising children.
These days, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to read blogs for hours, but I get a good daily dose of inspiration from Instagram. These are my favorite Insta-moms:
Katherine and Jay Wolf have a fierce and unconditional love for each other and their children that has weathered Katherine’s brain stem stroke at 26 (which left her deaf and partially paralyzed with double vision) and later a brain aneurysm, among other things. She spent 40 days on life support, two years in brain rehab and pulled through it all – coming out the other side with a deep appreciation for life, an incredibly strong marriage and the desire to have another child, who followed in 2015. Out of their suffering was born a beautiful ministry called Hope Heals and they use their book, their blog and social media to spread hope and positivity. This family exudes light and gratitude. Whenever I am feeling hopeless or sorry for myself, Hope Heals puts things right back into perspective. This Instagram is managed by both Katherine and Jay, as you'll see in this screen grab of a post from Jay on Katherine's 35th birthday:
January Harshe is a champion of the self-love generation and I cannot get enough of her amazing positive energy and inspiring content. She is, among other things, a motivational speaker, author and mother of six children who has built a community fiercely devoted to self-love and acceptance. I think we could all use a little more of that. I follow her personal account as well as Birth Without Fear (@birthwithoutfear) and Take Back Postpartum (@takebackpostpartum).
So we aren’t necessarily the “mountain-minded families” that this Instagram account was created for, but, I really love the quotes they share about the importance of connecting kids with nature, exploring, being in the wild and having adventures as a family.
Ilana Wiles is a mom raising two kids in New York City. I love watching other parents navigate family life in the city. As a society, we often glorify the image of kids riding bikes in a cul-de-sac with no traffic and playing in the backyard sans shoes, but, the truth is: urban life has just as much to offer growing kids. Wiles is my momspiration for taking advantage of everything a city has to offer with your kids - from candy stores to museums and everything in between.
You may have heard of Glennon Doyle Melton. She was a Christian mom blogger who made waves at the end of last year for leaving a marriage that she wrote a bestseller about to marry lesbian soccer star Abby Wombach. She is a symbol of the modern American family and an incredible inspiration. Doyle is the author of Love Warrior (2016), Carry On, Warrior (2012) and the creator of the online community Momastery and founder and president of Together Rising, a nonprofit that has raised more than four million dollars for women and children in crisis. Mostly, though, she is this raw, honest, incredibly open human being who is experiencing life as it comes and sharing it with the world.
Kelle Hampton is a writer, photographer and the mother of Nella whose surprise diagnosis with Down Syndrome led to the writing of Bloom which became a New York Times best-selling memoir. Her blog, Enjoying the Small Things, is both beautiful and a rich source of inspiration.
The official Instagram account for Angie Keiser, mom of the mini creative genius who designed her own collection from paper dresses at 5 years old. Angie shares her latest paper creations here and their adventures in glitter and color are so inspiring.
OK, so this isn't "inspiring" in the traditional sense. It "inspires" me to face motherhood and meltdowns with a sense of humor. This is basically a feed of parents’ photos of their kids throwing tantrums for the most illogical reasons one could imagine. I.E. photo where child pictured looks like someone chopped off a limb with the caption “I wouldn’t let him grab a pan of hot grease, so now I’m an asshole parent”
The beautiful images and seemingly perfect curation of Instagram accounts can make us feel inadequate or messy, but, Insta is also teeming with incredible human beings sharing their journeys in transparent, authentic ways that make me want to be a better person and mom ❤